A minor rape victim admitted to a government hospital in Jamshedpur was allegedly sexually assaulted by a security guard, police said on Monday, just a day after chief minister Raghubar Das visited the health care facility and asked authorities to improve the conditions there.
Police arrested the accused, identified as Shambhu Mahato, on Monday morning from a locality of the steel city, about 130 km from capital Ranchi, and also detained 12 fellow security guards, including a woman, for allegedly helping Mahato flee after committing the crime at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital. The victim identified the attacker, police said.
“We’ve arrested the accused but further action will be initiated after we get the victim’s medical report. We’ve asked the doctors to submit the report within 48 hours. Investigation is on in the case and we want concrete evidence before acting further,” Chandan Jha, city superintendent of police, told HT on Monday evening.
Police said the 13-year-old victim was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after she was allegedly raped by a teenager in the Parsudih area of the city on January 26. At the hospital, the security guard allegedly accompanied her to the bathroom and raped her, police added.
The victim’s mother said the accused brought samosas on Sunday evening and asked her to bring puffed rice. “When I returned with the puffed rice, I saw my daughter was shaking and crying in her bed. She told me what Mahato did but when we complained to the woman guard, she scolded us,” the mother said.
The incident occurred just a day after chief minister Raghubar Das visited the hospital and asked authorities to discipline the staff and improve conditions in the district’s biggest government-run hospital.
“Action will be taken against those who helped Mahato flee. We’ve asked the hospital superintendent to blacklist the security agency,” said Anup T Matthdew, Jamshedpur’s senior superintendent of police.
Hospital superintendent RY Choudhary said he would initiate action to terminate the contract with the security agency, G-Alert, on Tuesday after his return from Ranchi where he was attending a state health department meeting. He added that home guard jawans would replace the 40-odd private security guards now deployed at the hospital. The hospital already has 42 home guards.
The incident highlighted rising incidents of crime against women in the tribal-majority state. Till November 2015, the total number of rape cases lodged in Jharkhand was 1,124 against 967 during the same period in 2014. Besides sexual assaults, Jharkhand is notorious for rampant trafficking of tribal girls who are forced into a life of bonded labour or prostitution.